Dallas Cowboys 2022 NFL preseason round-up: Cowboys vs Broncos, McCarthy, Parsons…
McCarthy has revealed his plan for the days leading up to the Cowboys preseason opener against the Broncos and who we can expect to see play on Saturday.
Cowboys vs Broncos preseason game 1: Who’s playing?
The preseason is finally almost here for the Cowboys and they’ll face the Denver Broncos in week 1 at Empower Field in Denver on Saturday. We won’t be seeing Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott just yet, but this is our chance to see the rookies in real action - not just on the practice field.
Who can we expect to see?
This will be our first chance to see rookie OT Tyler Smith, EDGE Sam Williams, and rookie WR Jalen Tolbert take the field. Named as the unofficial starter alongside Lamb until Gallup returns, Tolbert is one of the rookies expected to have an immediate impact considering the Cowboys’ receiver situation right now (Cooper gone, Gallup and Washington injured).
What is the plan for Prescott and Zeke in preseason?
Neither Prescott nor Zeke are likely to play in week 1 or week 2 of the preseason games at Denver Broncos and LA Chargers. The third and last game of the preseason will be against the Seattle Seahawks and will be the dress rehearsal for Prescott and some of the other starters on August 26 at their home stadium. As for the defense, it’s likely more of the same. Don’t expect to see Anthony Barr, Trevon Diggs, or Jayron Kearse until at least week 3 of the preseason.
McCarthy’s plan for Broncos preseason matchup
The Cowboys are leaving Oxnard, California and are headed to Denver, Colorado to have a football date with the Broncos. They will practice with the Broncos later this afternoon ahead of the preseason matchup on Saturday. Coach Mike McCarthy said the team is ready to play some “real football”. Expect Thursday’s practice to be all about the veteran players and Friday’s to be more about the younger rookies with the game on Saturday featuring the younger guys. McCarthy admitted they may stick to just one joint practice with the Broncos considering the high temperatures expected in Denver (a big change from the 70s in California to the high 90s in Colorado).
“I’m kinda second guessing the schedule. What the hell was I thinking about? It’s going to be 95-98 degrees up there [in Denver] on Thursday, and everything that goes into that,” said McCarthy. “I think going [with] one [scrimmage] is preferred, but hey, this is new for me. I think it’s definitely something we needed to do, that’s why we did it. I think it will be really good for our players.”
Micah Parsons’ “freaky” play goes viral
On Wednesday, during the Cowboys’ last practice, Micah Parsons did what Micah Parsons does best - he left people’s jaws on the floor with his unbelievable pass-rush moves. In this play that went viral, Parsons moves past right tackle Terence Steele, bending around the corner and barely slowing down, making it look easy.
As we already know, Parsons’ abilities don’t stop here. McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn have already emphasised that he will be utilized as both a defensive end and pass rusher.
“We’ve seen excellent players, hall of fame players that can rip the edge. There’s not a lot of guys that can move in and out of two spots. It actually causes a lot of matchup problems,” said Quinn.
Fantasy outlook: Ezekiel Elliott
Now that preseason is starting, it’s time to start thinking about fantasy football. Some people may already be starting their drafts this week. So, let’s take a look at Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. To draft or not to draft? Last season, Zeke managed to get above 1,000 yards for the fourth time in his career despite dealing with a torn PCL. He finished the season ranked seventh in fantasy football winning backs in PPR formats and had around 14.8 points per game. Zeke should be in even better shape this year than last as he’s recovered from his PCL injury.
He has something to prove to those saying he’s been on a decline and will continue to stay there. There’s always the threat of another injury, but that’s with any RB. With Zeke, there’s another factor to consider and that’s Tony Pollard. With the two sharing time, it could cut into some of Zeke’s carries. All in all, he’s not a surefire pick to get loads of carries and fantasy points, all things considered.